Brief History of the Vacuum Sweeper

Vacuum sweepers were first used in the 1920s to remove fine dust left behind mechanical sweepers. A primary advantage of early vacuum sweepers was that they could operate in freezing weather without water use. A disadvantage of these machines was that they were noisy and unreliable. In the early 1970s, several sweeper manufacturers reintroduced vacuum sweepers to the market, and again, with the primary function to remove fine particulate matter left behind by mechanical sweepers.
Modern vacuum sweepers use an engine powered fan to create suction. Vacuum sweepers are frequently designed with the vacuum nozzles typically placed on one side of the sweeper or on both sides with one suction nozzle operating at a time. Most vacuum sweepers use gutter brooms, and a rotary brush called a windrow boom to push dirt and debris in the path of a suction nozzle. An inherent problem with the windrow broom is that it tends to brush dirt and debris into street cracks. This results from pavement irregularities, which may contribute to an inefficient collection of street dust across all technology types.
The abrasive nature of the brooms used may also produce finer size particles that are more easily transported by surface runoff. Vacuum sweepers may use a filtration system or water for dust suppression. Typically, used air is exhausted from the sweeper, releasing a large amount of particulate matter into the atmosphere.
Vacuum sweepers are not as effective as mechanical sweepers when picking up wet vegetation or large debris but are more effective in picking up smaller particles similar to the regenerative air sweeper.
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